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    Default Trucks Vs Quints

    I'm starting some research for Resource Allocation. One of the biggest factors in our response times and station locations is our limited number of Truck companies. I am a die-hard Truckie and personally don't wish to see true Truck companies leave or be replaced, however I must be fair and partial and present all of the information I can. Thus information on Quints.

    So, does your department run with Quints? A combination of Quints and Trucks? During fires, are Quints considered both an Engine and a Truck? Just a Truck? Just an Engine?

    I know there was a report done a while ago by/for St. Louis FD that discuss this topic and I am in the process of obtaining this information. However, any other practical evidence, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Oh, boy. Here we go again...

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    Welllllll, I am a recent transfer to a truck company. I enjoyed being in the engine but I love doing truck work. We operate a 100ft rear-mount platform. Our TRUCK has a 2000gpm pump on it. I am not the biggest fan of this but it does let the TRUCK be self-sufficient if that is necessary. Which I don't think should really be an issue because we have 3 engines but I have learned that you never know what can possibley happen. I just think that it is important to realize even though the TRUCK has a pump it should be last on the list of worries for the TRUCK company. As a truck we should not be even thinking about stretching a line, we should obviosly be thinking about TRUCK work. VEnt, search, entry ... all that fun stuff. And from what I have seen around my department we pretty much stick to that. The only time I have really seen our pump used is when we use the tower ladder. I guess some pump operators don't like the engine to flow through us, I guess they like to control the water flow. Which I guess is good, I don't know much about pumping.

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    All I can say realy on this matter is that I am from a rural vol fire department, we have 2 engines, 0 trucks.

    I wish both of our engines were quints, and I am working on a long range plan to do that.

    Realy, this issue has a lot to do with the nature of the department and the manpower your can muster.

    If you have have the resources for a dedicated trucks company, quint or not, then great.

    If you are a small department where you have to do everything, then IMO the quint is the only option.
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    This is primarily directed to Samson, but I throw it out there for anyone who is considering replacing their engines with quints.

    In my hometown, where I volley (shh... let's keep that quiet) we have one quint and three engines. A quint is nice because you can do either function in a pinch, but you'll never have the manpower onboard to perform both engine and truckwork simultaneously, so keep that in mind. It's one or the other when you arrive.

    Yes, you gain an aerial ladder on top of your rig. That's nice, but you lose:

    1) A lot of hosebed space (plus racking the hose with a ladder in the way sucks)
    2) A lot of compartment space
    3) A lot of booster tank capacity
    4) Manueverabilty in tight places...you'll never fit a quint in some places that your engines can get in.

    Presently the talk in my vollie house is that they want to replace one more of the engines with a quint but I'm dead against it for the reasons I mentioned above. You really do lose more than you gain, I believe.

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    You have many valid points. In any case, I do believe that we need to replace at least one of our engines with a quint.

    There are super quints out there that combine nearly everything that an engine and a truck can do, but we dont have half a million dollars sitting around for one.

    I guess in our case we cant realy give up an engine, but we could sure use a aerial device.

    Also, true that you would not have enough manpower onboard to man everything, but we do have more firefighters respond to an incident then just what the first and second out engines can carry. We useualy have a lot of manpower at any given incident, so I dont think that would be a problem for us.
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    I think the first thing you need to think about is what type of "quint" do you want. I mean, do you want a truck that can pump water, or an engine with a ladder on it? this is an example of the an engine with a ladder on it

    this is a truck with a pump


    both are quints, yet while the first one runs as an angine, the second one runs as a truck. both have ladders attached to them, and both can pump.

    they are very different pieces of apparatus, and each has it's one advantages and disadvantages. a lot of it must depend on what your department's needs are, for your particular area.
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    I guess you can call our "quint" an engine with a ladder since we use it as an engine more than a truck
    Carries a lot more than our engines but not enough to be called a true truck
    Last edited by k1500chevy97; 12-11-2003 at 06:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Trucks Vs Quints

    Originally posted by smitty91


    I know there was a report done a while ago by/for St. Louis FD that discuss this topic and I am in the process of obtaining this information. However, any other practical evidence, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Smitty

    Also contact the Richmond, Va. Fire Dept. They are practically a "Total Quint" department.
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    we run an ALS qunit that primarily functions as truck co.....however when both engines are out ........nice to know you gotta spare !
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    PS- I believe I am correct in stating that Richmond is the only city of it's size utilizing "TQC"....It ain't easy being "Quint City" USA(chuckle!)
    Last edited by RSchmidt; 12-12-2003 at 07:18 PM.
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    When we got our first quint, we still had the tiller so it was more a pump with a ladder. When we got our second one, it was more a truck that was hose head friendly. Haveing the quint we use only two phyiscal pieces of apparatus to fufill the two pumps and a ladder box alarm.
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    Default Jury is still out....

    We are a medium sized paid Department. We purchased 2 75' quints in 1992. The two have been used exclusively as trucks. Although in our dept all seven trucks have pumps, attack hose, booster tanks, etc. My opinion? They sure don't function very well as trucks. Compartment space is the biggest problem. I think if a department is going to make a fundamental change to Quints, They have to be willing to change the way they function at fires. Replacing trucks with Quints to act as Trucks doesnt seem to work well. I guess from my experience (which is with one medium size city), they dont really perform either engine or trucks ops well.

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    Default Re: Trucks Vs Quints

    Originally posted by smitty91
    I'm starting some research for Resource Allocation. One of the biggest factors in our response times and station locations is our limited number of Truck companies. I am a die-hard Truckie and personally don't wish to see true Truck companies leave or be replaced, however I must be fair and partial and present all of the information I can. Thus information on Quints.
    If I understand correctly, you are looking for a way to add some additional "truck company" ability, but are not specifically planning to convert the current truck companies to "quints" or add additional "on-duty" units that would be "truck companies"?

    If this is the case, using engine quints could work for this purpose. Others have raised some important points to consider in regards to manuverability, compartment space and hose storage, etc. Most aren't hard to overcome with proper planning.

    My department operates an engine and a quint front-line. As such ours is used for engine functions a lot. The city also has lots of tight streets. For the most part manuverability hasn't been a problem and is part of the reason for the quint rather than a more traditional truck. We are using an E-One HP75 Sidestacker quint. It has more compartment space than our "traditional styled" engine, the same tank size (500 gal), almost the same amount of hose on board - all of which lays easily plus additional ground ladders.

    Quints can work rather well if they are used properly.
    Last edited by mstclair190; 12-16-2003 at 10:13 AM.
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    I am from a small department in the mid-west currently we work off of 3 engines and 2 quints ( one appuratus in each of our 5 stations) when the quint is the first due appuatus it is used as a engine and the second in quint is used as a ladder. our quints are stationed on opposit sides of town. so if there is a fire alarm call in one of the quints district the closest quint is used like an engine, then the next closest engine and the other quint are dispatched. generaly the second quint is 3 districs away and will end up passing other stations whos crews were not even dispatched to the call in order to fill the "truck" assignment on the dispatch. also when first on scene to a working fire the smaller tanks found on the quints are always in danger of running out before the first line is laid to the fire. the only pluss to quints it that they may ease some manpower concerns.

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    Default Resource management

    My department has for the last few years have used the total quint concept. Manpower is not an issue in the sense that we are going to have three personnel period, engine, truck, quint, it doesn't matter.
    However, without a doubt quints are borrowing a phrase from my army days "force multipliers". Some differences from traditional truck/engine departments include:
    1. Personnel must have well rounded training in all firefighting tactics versus traditional engine or truck specialization.
    2. Tactical assignments are given in order of arrival versus type of apparatus i.e. engine for suppression/truck for ventilation and serach
    3. Driver training must be more intense due to greater number of jobs required of engineers, often alone, and the fact that quints are top heavy and can overturn due to the lack of length and stability of a traditional two tandem truck.
    4. Overall higher maintenance due to the ladder and heavier weight loads without the increased vehicle mass. Our quints go through springs, break skackleford bolts, and suffer structural stress at a lot higher rate than when we ran with traditional apparatus.
    These are just a few differences that come to mind.
    In my opinion, if manpower is not an issue, traditional apparatus and the specialization it brings is overall better on the fireground. However for manpower challenged departments like mine, the resource multiplication that quints allow often makes the difference, espeically on large fires, in allowing us to complete the mission.
    In a perfect world we would run 2 to 1 engine to truck ratio with 4 on the engine and 5 on the truck (NFPA 1710). However in our reality technology and equipment like the quint concept, TI's for every 2 person crew, radios for every person, and constant training at or above NFPA/ISO standards have to try to make up the difference. If adminstrations are going to quints to reduce manpower requirements shame on them, however if they go to quints to multiply limited manpower resources, good call.
    Last edited by dufferfbfb; 12-17-2003 at 12:57 AM.

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